NROTC Marine Graduate Is First Commissioned in 45 Years

May 22, 2015

Patrick Poorbaugh enlisted in the Marines during his senior year of high school and left for basic training soon after graduation. “We were in the middle of two wars, and I didn’t want to let others do the job,” he said. “And I knew I wasn’t ready for college.”

That was in 2005. This year Poorbaugh, a 28-year-old staff sergeant in the Marines, will earn a B.A. in political science from Columbia’s School of General Studies. On May 21, the day after Commencement, he will be commissioned as a second lieutenant at a ceremony in Low Library, part of the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, which allows active-duty enlisted Marines to go to a four year college participating in a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Program full time and become an officer.

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